The Norman Transcript

June 12, 2014

Two sisters meet face to face for first time in 20 years

By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript

OKLAHOMA CITY — As soon as they saw each other, the waterworks began.

Twenty years may have seemed like forever, but the minutes ticked by even slower as Amelia Ankney, of Norman, waited for her sister to walk into sight Wednesday at Will Rogers World Airport.

The nervous excitement built until Amelia’s mom, Julie Ankney, spotted Candida Ackerson and Amelia rushed into the open arms of her older sister.

Amelia and Candida have always known about each other, but it wasn’t until 2012 that they began talking, first by text messaging and then through phone calls. Amelia was born and adopted in Oklahoma City by Julie and Frank Ankney. She graduated from Norman High School and now works at Embassy Suites Norman.

“I watched her be born,” Julie said. “I’ve supported her since her first breath. I knew this day would come.”

Amelia’s adoption was open and her biological mother stayed in touch with the Ankney’s until her fourth birthday. While Amelia was in high school, Julie contacted her biological mom and sister, Candida. Julie said she wanted Amelia to have the opportunity to connect with her biological family whenever she felt ready. Candida told Julie that she wanted to get to know Amelia, and the sisters began texting.

“I finally said, ‘One of you is going to have to step up and call each other,’” Julie said.

The family set up a time that Amelia and Candida could talk on the phone while Julie could be there for emotional support, in case the situation became too overwhelming for Amelia.

“The phone rang and she said, ‘It’s Candida!’ and I said, ‘Well, answer it.’” Julie said. “They giggled and giggled and talked for about two hours.”

Amelia and Candida, now 20 and 24, respectively, have grown close since that first communication.

“We talk to each other all the time now. I’ve found answers to questions I’ve been searching for my entire life. We’ve grown a relationship in the past two years,” Amelia said. “We talk about everything even, though we had never see each other face to face.”

Candida may listen to R&B and Amelia may listen to country music, but Amelia said she continues to be surprised by how much they are alike.

“We talk alike. We’re both very friendly and we’re spitting images of each other; our faces look alike. It’s funny how genetics work,” she said.

During Candida’s visit, the sisters will go to Six Flags, visit extended family and have fun spending quality time together.

“Words can’t express how I feel,” Candida said as she smiled and wiped tears from her eyes. “I’m looking forward to spending time with her and getting to know my family.”

Candida, who lives in San Diego, said she finally made the jump and got on a plane to meet Amelia in person after going through several changes the past year. She said she knew she had to take the next step.

‘I knew it would eventually happen,” Candida said. “I’ve always wanted to know her.”

Pausing between hugs and laughter, the look of shock began to pass away as Amelia and Candida realized a moment they had dreamed of was reality.

“This is definitely a life-long relationship,” Amelia said. “It’ll be fun to do the things I always wanted to do with a sister but never could.”

Katherine Parker



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